Just a few days after Barack Obama told the New Yorker that he doesn't think weed "is more dangerous than alcohol," Attorney General Eric Holder is finally clarifying that federally insured banks can accept cash from legal marijuana purveyors without having to worry about potential drug racketeering charges.
Retail operators in Colorado, where recreational marijuana became legal on January 1, have been scrambling to manage the millions of dollars in cash that flowed in over the last month.
But the banks have, by and large, refused to grant bank accounts to marijuana related businesses. Those who are able to deposit cash, usually into personal accounts, are often caught by bank-employed investigators.
The all-cash nature of the business has also created huge security concerns for business owners. Many have installed panic buttons for workers in the event of a robbery and have set up a constellation of security cameras at their facilities beyond what is required, as well as floor sensors to detect break-ins. In Colorado, Blue Line Protection Group was formed a few months ago, specializing in protecting dispensaries and facilities that grow marijuana, and in providing transportation security. The firm largely uses military veterans who have Special Operations experience.